What would Thanksgiving be without at least one story about family bonding? In the hands of the award-winning poet Susan Kinsolving (a repeat contributor, we’re honored to add), a familial tale is brought to life with great wit.

Read it and you may see yourself or someone you know — or you may look around your own table and say a quick prayer of thanks. "Fill the Cavity With Crumbs" begins after the jump.

Fill The Cavity With Crumbs

We were divorcing, but after giving Thanks-
giving. It was all relative with relatives. Every-
one came wanting: to grate, mash, carve, or
strain. It was a strain. Who knew a frozen

turkey took three days to thaw? We hauled
boiling water to the bathtub. Fowl was
the noun, but quickly became adjectival. 
My almost-ex over-cooked cranberries until

they exploded across his shirt like a machine gun,
proving him, the victim. The garbage disposal
jammed and overflowed as his cousin waltzed in
with her special dish, lurid whipped yams, dotted

with mini-marshmallows in a heart shape around
a big smiley face. I eyed the mace. Uncle Ed said
an ecumenical grace. Drunk, Aunt Dede described
her sister’s firm grasp of the superficial, then

added, Make this insult official. My mother
replied, I won’t cry. Because someday I’m going
to die
. After a long pause, eight people said
they’d have to skip the pie and say an early

goodbye. Dad called it mincing the mince.                
Quite undone, he laughed alone at his pun.
For me, the day seemed endlessly long. But I
was thankful nothing had really gone wrong.

Susan Kinsolving

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